M. SCOTT MORRIS: Screen, sky to be filled with truly great things

We're lucky here at the A&E Corner because we've got some fine stuff to explore.

We're talking about action, romance and determination, as well as creativity, freedom and – yes – love.

We're talking about the power of the imagination and the joy that comes from doing good work.

And fun.

Don't forget the fun.

Yes, Mr. Spielberg

Our first adventure begins in 1981, when Harrison Ford traded in his “Star Wars” laser pistol for a bullwhip and a fedora to star as Indiana Jones in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

A trio of Mississippi Gulf Coast boys were amazed by what they'd seen, and decided to create a shot-for-shot remake.

They used a Sony Betamax camera, which existed well before the digital revolution we all take for granted.

They had no budget, other than allowances. No soundstage, other than a family basement.

It took seven years to finish “Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation.”

Steven Spielberg, who directed the original, saw the boys' effort.

“Wanted to let you know how impressed I was with your very loving and detailed tribute to our Raiders of the Lost Ark,'” Spielberg said in a note sent to the young filmmakers. “I saw and appreciated the vast amounts of imagination and originality you put in your film. Again, congratulations. I'll be waiting to see your names someday on the big screen.”

You have the opportunity to see what impressed Spielberg.

Two of the filmmakers, Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala, will attend a free reception at 5 p.m. today at the Lafayette County-Oxford Public Library. It will be followed by a showing of the movie at 6 p.m.

“Strangely, Raiders' is no longer a movie for us. It's transcended that and has become part of our life-changing history,” Strompolos said on www.theraider.net. “It continues to open doors and take us on incredible adventures.”

Take to the skies

Keith Merritt of Tupelo knows something about the value of good work, himself. He spearheaded last year's “Family Kite Flying Day” at Veterans Park.

It was a wonderful success. Kids, parents, grandparents and friends clearly enjoyed coming together to launch multi-colored nylon and plastic kites into the air. There also were some kites made from the pages of the Mighty Daily Journal.

The event returns at 10 a.m. April 1 at the park. Prizes will be available for most unique, most colorful, highest flying and best homemade kite.

The prizes probably won't compare to all the creativity, freedom and – yes – love filling the air.

M. Scott Morris is the Daily Journal entertainment writer. Contact him at 678-1589 or scott.morris@djournal.com

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